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Councillor Ann Norton

TII and council urged to replace trees affected by ash dieback

THE devastation that has been caused by ash dieback has been highlighted by a local councillor who is urging Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the council to replenish affected trees in Ennis and its environs.

Councillor Ann Norton raised the issue at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District where she outlined that trees have died from the disease along the motorway, Barefield and other areas of the locality.

“I ask Ennis Municipal District to write to the TII to replenish the ash trees that have died from the ash dieback along the Motorway  and ask Ennis Municipal District to do the same in Barefield and other area around the Ennis municipal District and appropriately dispose of the dead ones,” she stated.

Tommy Scott, Senior Executive Technician, responded, “Ash dieback is a disease that effects the Common Ash tree (Fraxinus Excelsior). It was first identified in Ireland in 2012.

“The disease will cause most of the Ash trees in this Country to die over the coming years. Across Europe where this disease has been widespread for a longer time, a small percentage of the trees have proven to be naturally disease tolerant.

“Working with this natural phenomenon Teagasc, in conjunction with its counterparts across Europe, are conducting research on the development of disease tolerant trees from which, it is hoped the future Ash trees will be grown.

“Until this critical research and development work is complete it will not be possible to replenish the Ash trees lost to the disease therefore this request is premature.”

Councillor Norton commented it is “such a shame to see the damage that is being done to so many areas around the municipal district”.

She suggested that trees other than ash could be used to replace those affected by ash dieback. Councillor Mary Howard voiced her support for the motion, saying that other native tree species could be planted.

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